Exploring Color: Orange

“Orange is red brought nearer to humanity by yellow.”  ~Wassily Kandinsky

Orange is such a bright and controversial color.  I have found that most people either love it or hate it.  Around here you better love it since our largest university is Syracuse.  They are aptly named, The Orange.  So there is orange everywhere and especially at my house since my husband is an alum. But I rarely wear orange or use it in decorating. I find it too much for my senses sometimes. My favorite orange colors appear at sunrise or sunset. I can’t get enough then.

When looking back, It seems there was a lot of orange in my old garden….at least by these collages I made 10 years ago.  Orange is interesting as it runs the gamut from deep orange-reds to terra cotta to pale peaches all popular tones of orange. Even some browns appear more orange.

So for this orange week during #the100dayproject, I will explore some of these more unusual oranges as well as the standard orange and those that look somewhat yellow.

So let’s explore more about the color orange…..

It is said in the English-speaking world the color orange is named after the fruit, orange.  In Old English orange was called Ġeolurēad.  The color orange occurs between red and yellow, and its complementary color is blue.

Various Meanings and History

Orange has the energy of red and the happiness of yellow. It symbolizes joy, sunshine, success and the tropics.

Orange is a power color, and is said to be healing. It is supposed to increase the oxygen supply to the brain and stimulate mental activity which is why many designers use it to catch people’s attention and highlight details.

It is said if you wear orange during times of stress, it can help balance your emotions.

In China and Japan orange symbolizes happiness and love.

Orange appears as a very hot color to the human eye and gives the sensation of heat.

Orange is the national color of the Netherlands.

In Ireland, the use of orange dates from the reign of William of Orange.

 Fun Facts

Orange is associated with healthy food and is said to stimulate your appetite.  So it is no surprise that orange is very effective in promoting products.  Think Orange Crush, Cheetos and Tang to name a few.

Orange is the color usually used in the United States for traffic cones and to mark a construction zone.

If you drive an orange vehicle you are: fun-loving, talkative, fickle, and trendy.


Red-orange–desire, sexual passion, pleasure, domination, aggression, and thirst for action.

Dark orange–deceit and distrust.

Brown–derived from orange and gray, described as an especially dark orange.

Orange in the Garden

You can find orange in several seasons.  But summer is where I see the most orange especially with dayliles, newer coneflowers and those hot colors of zinnia, dahlia and nasturtiums (above).

I especially love the orange in the native Butterfly Weed (above) that supports native bees and monarchs. And the orange and coral color of native honeysuckle that attracts hummingbirds.

In early spring it is hard to find orange in the garden, but I enjoy the almost neon orange of the pistils of early crocus. The contrast with the pastel purple is a perfect mix.

I picked a few and put them in my smallest vase with the twig of ivy from last week’s vase. With a very cold, frigid week, some snow and daytime highs in the 20s and 30s, winter is still trying to hold us in his icy grip. But these small, brave flowers are still blooming if the sun is out.

With this vase, I am linking in to the wonderful meme, In A Vase On Monday, at Rambling in the Garden.

All the pictures shared in this post were taken with my Nikon Coolpix or iPhone camera, and manipulated on my iPhone using the apps, Pixlr and Prisma. The collages were created with a variety of apps 10 years ago that are no longer available. You can follow my progress with #the100dayproject in my Instagram and Facebook feed.

All original content is copyrighted and the sole property of Donna Donabella @ Gardens Eye View, 2010-2022.  Any reprints or use of content or photos is by permission only.

20 Replies to “Exploring Color: Orange”

  1. I used to steer clear of orange both in the garden and in my closet but I’ve embraced the color since we moved and I ended up with a larger and very sunny, open garden. Hot colors fit better here than they did in my former tiny shade garden. Surprisingly, the color has also shown up in my clothes, albeit generally as an accent. If orange balances stress, perhaps we all should be wearing it of late to counter the daily news feed.

  2. Hi Donna! Color is something that is really fun and your posts are making it even more so. I ADORE orange and would have an orange vehicle except that I always drive a Chevy Silverado and they don’t come in any shade of orange, so I drive bright red. Almost as good.

    Keep your posts coming! I love ’em!

  3. Such a great post again, Dionna – thank you. The beauty of these crocus is really accentuated by the effects of the apps, emphasising the different colours…so effective

    1. Thanks Cathy! With the cold and snow there wasn’t much, but so much is waiting in the wings if we can get some warmth.

  4. I only have one piece of orange in my closet but have a painting and carpet in my laundry room that are shades of coral and orange. If I have to spend time in there ironing, I might as well have cheerful colors to make the time spent there pleasant.

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